Wherefore (Continuing our series through Hebrews “Better Than”)

apostle-high-priest
Hebrews 2:17-18 (KJV) 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

Hebrews 3:1-6 (KJV) 1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Today marks the fifteen anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. That was an awful time in our country’s history. Up until that time Pearl Harbor was the largest number of Americans killed on American soil. 2403 people died when Japanese forces launched a cowardly attack on our naval base at Pearl Harbor. The September 11th attacks killed 2996 people, and injured 6000 others. The attacks were orchestrated by cowards who claimed to do what they did for a god named Allah. Allah is a false god.

What was the reason for 9-11? Some people suggested that 9-11 was our God’s way of punishing America for her sins. I don’t believe that’s the case. When Israel rejected God’s leadership He was very clear in the punishment that He meted out to them. They were punished for provoking God. When God speaks, He speaks clearly. I don’t believe that 9-11 was orchestrated by God to punish anyone. I believe 9-11 is a testament to what happens when a people get away from the True God. When you draw away from God you get confusion, darkness, lovelessness, and destruction.

A firefighter going through the rubble of 9-11 in March 2002 found the pages of a Bible fused into a chunk of steel from the destroyed Twin Towers. The Bible can be read very easily. What was exposed in this chunk of steel were the words of Christ Jesus our Lord:

Matthew 5:38-40 (KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Where God is there is ….

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV) …. the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

… the fruit of the Spirit – the fruit that God wishes to cultivate in His people – is not racist. It is not hateful. It is not destructive. It is not sinful. It is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness …. oh please be kind to one another … goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. God did not direct terrorists to do as they did. Satan did this! Satan takes hold of the life that takes hold of sin.

The wages of sin is always DEATH. When people draw away to Allah, Moroni, Beelzebub, Venus, or any of a thousand false gods that are out there, they draw toward destruction and death.

God did not rejoice when those hijacked aircraft slammed into the Twin Towers in New York City. God was not gleeful when people died at the Pentagon. No, God says:

Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV) Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

God calls from the rubble of America and says “Come to Me. Come to Christ”

1 The Reason Christ Became Jesus Was To Bring Us To God. God loves us.

There are four “wherefore” statements in our text today. They are found in Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; and two related “wherefores” in Hebrews 3:7 & 10. Now here is where it gets interesting.

Though the King James translators make the word “wherefore” in all these verses, this is actually two different Greek words. The word translated “wherefore” in Hebrews 2:17 and 3:1 is the Greek ὅθεν hothen which means “for which reason”

The word translated “wherefore” in Hebrews 3:7 & 10 is the Greek διό dio which is a conjunction that means “for which cause”.

Let me put it this way. The first two wherefores teach us that there is a REASON that Jesus Christ went from Almighty and Eternal God and took upon Himself the simplicity of humanity. And when we get away from this God given scriptural reason, then we “cause that which God does not wish on us to be on us”.

God loves the humanity that He made in His image. But we have drifted so far away from what He made us to be. But God loves us. He reaches out to us.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,

Wherefore – HOTHEN – for this reason Jesus was made like unto “His brethren in all things”. Christ became Jesus and walked amongst us. He became exactly like us. He hungered like we hunger. He thirsted like we thirst. He is tired as we get tired. His Body was without sin, but it was afflicted just as we are afflicted.

in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren

In the Old Testament the High Priest was set apart in both dress and duty from the common man. The High Priest in Jesus’ day had become so separated from the people that he was seen as almost a living god. But the Old Testament High Priest was not better than anyone else. He was a sinner who must first make atonement for sin for himself, and then for the sins of the people.

But not Jesus. Jesus walked amongst us. He was not too proud or holier than thou to sit with the weakest person. You cannot define God nor even attempt to uncderstand the heart of God without Christ. God loves us, and calls us from wasted lives.

  • To the miserable Zacchaeus Jesus said, “You come down – I’m going to your house today” (Luke 19:1-10).
  • To a lonely Matthew, a Tax Collector Jesus said “Follow Me” – and he got up, left his tables, and followed Him (Matthew 9:9-13).
  • To a group of weary fishermen Jesus cried out “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Jesus never elevated Himself, but He came seeking family. He came calling people to follow Him and enter the Kingdom of God.

Jesus came to be our High Priest. Jesus represents us before God. And as our High Priest:

Hebrews 2:17 … that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

He is both merciful and faithful to us His Children by faith. He makes reconciliation for the sins of the people. Look at how that is phrased.

RECONCILIATION for the sins of the people

“Reconciliation” is the Greek ἱλάσκομαι hilaskomai, and it is only used two times in the Bible. Here, and in a parable Jesus told to those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:

Luke 18:10-13 (KJV) Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven,

but smote upon his breast,

saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

When the publican said

God, be MERCIFUL to me a sinner

he was actually saying

God, ἱλάσκομαι hilaskomai me a sinner
The King James says “God show MERCY to me a sinner”
What he was actually saying was God in Your mercy COVER MY SIN!God I am not like You. I am not holy as you are holy.
God make me different.
God make me holy.
God, bring me into union with you.

It is Christ Who becoming Perfect Man makes us holy before a holy God. God cannot look on sin, but He can both look on and love those who love His Son. Christ makes reconciliation for the sins of the people. By His Blood He brings forgiveness of sins.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, ’tis all of grace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Jesus died on Calvary to cover our sins in His Blood. He does not as our High Priest offer the Blood of animals to atone for our sins, but offers up Himself.

1 John 1:5-7 (KJV) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, WE LIE, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Our High Priest stands between us and God, and it is HIS sacrifice on Calvary that makes us acceptable to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He {God the Father} hath made Him {Christ His Son} to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we {the sinner} might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus Christ came to make us acceptable to God. Jesus Christ came to bring us into union with God. For this reason Christ was made like us. When you believe on Him, you are brought into God’s Family. You become one of God’s people of purpose.

2 The Reason Christ Became Jesus Was To Bring Us Into God’s Family. God loves us, and we follow Him. In our second “wherefore” (Greek hothen – for this reason) we read:

Hebrews 3:1-2 (KJV) Wherefore, holy BRETHREN, PARTAKERS of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

The text begins HOTHEN, “for this reason, holy brethren”. If you belong to the House of God in Christ – the Family of God – then you are both “holy” as well as “brethren”. You are set apart for God’s use and destined to become like Christ.

Everything that happens to a Christian happens for a purpose.
God calls you into His Family to PARTNER with Him.
We are not called to SIT AND SOAK.
We are called to GROW and GOD.
Once you enter the family of God you become a people of purpose.

When God saved Israel, He saved them to send them into the Promised Land. The Promised Land was a place inhabited by unbelievers and idolators. God’s Israel was supposed to go into that place and occupy it in the Name of God. They were to bring the Light of God to a dark land. When Israel went into the Land they were led by Moses. Now Moses was one of the greatest Prophets God ever raised up. But Moses was different than Jesus. We read:

Hebrews 3:5-6 (KJV) Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a SERVANT, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a SON over his own house…

Moses was faithful – but a Servant of God. But Jesus is a Son. The House of Moses was led by a Servant and Israel was supposed to be servants. But Jesus is not making Servants. He is making SONS. Jesus is a Son over His own House, and those who follow Him are Sons of God.

A SERVANT works to please his Master
A SON lives to please his Father
God is your Father if Christ is your Savior
We are to LIVE so as to PLEASE OUR FATHER
To have lives that are pleasant to Him

God saved Israel – a nation of slaves – from Egypt and raised them up to serve Him. But when Christ came He came as our High Priest to reconcile us to God not as slaves, but as sons. The Scripture declares:

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a SERVANT, but a SON; and if a SON, then an HEIR of God through Christ.

God’s Israel followed Moses, who was a great Prophet. But Jesus is greater than Moses. Moses led a people, a nation of servants, to follow God. But Christ calls a people not to be servants of God, but SONS of God. How does one KNOW that he or she is a son of God? How do we know if we are of the House of Christ, and heirs of God? The text tells us:

Hebrews 3:6 (KJV) But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Do you see that little word IF?
Whose House are we IF”
If” what?
IF we HOLD FAST the CONFIDENCE and the REJOICING
of the Hope firm unto the end

How do I know that I am His and He is mine? My focus is on Jesus. My life is on Jesus. I consider Him, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. He is my Apostle. He is my Captain. Christ is not my co-Pilot, but my Pilot. My eyes will be on Him. My confidence in Him.

Faith in Christ is no passing fancy. We come together as a Church to remind one another that it is Christ that we follow. The text tells us:

Hebrews 3:12-19 (KJV) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

The first generation of Israel lost the Promised Land because they would not heed God’s direction. They would not listen to Him. God calls a people to Himself to encourage one another, to lift one another up, to point one another to Christ. We are charged as sons of God to despise sin but to love sinners. We are charged as sons of God to warn others of the deceitfulness of sin, to stand against it, to reject it.

Sin destroys a people.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

Sin has destroyed our nation.
Sin brought 9-11.
Sin killed many in that Satan inspired plot.
Sin is destroying our Churches.
Sin like cancer is deadly and ever invasive.
Sin is no trifle.
Sin and wrongdoing hinders any from entering God’s best.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) Or do you not know that WRONGDOERS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 1:6 (NIV) If we CLAIM TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM AND YET WALK IN THE DARKNESS, WE LIE and do not live out the truth.

Sons of God do not do the things which are offensive to their Father.

We reject sin, and look to Jesus. We follow our Christ as our Apostle, our Captain, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And when sin is exposed in our lives we carry to to our High Priest Jesus Christ, confessing that it is wrong. We repent, and turn to Him.

3 It Is Not God’s Desire That Any Perish. Do not harden your hearts. The last two “wherefore” statements deal with HEART MANAGEMENT.

Hebrews 3:7-9 (KJV) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

These last two “wherefores” are the Greek διό dio which is a conjunction that means “for which cause”. For this cause the Holy Ghost speaks”. The Holy Spirit speaks to your hearts today and says “do not harden your hearts”. When you harden your hearts against God you cause your own destruction.

Why could not Israel enter the Promised Land? Was God too weak? Was God powerless? Was God unfaithful? Was God an indian giver? NO! God was able, but God will not force the Promised Land on anyone. We must follow Him.

  • The Hardened Heart Causes God To Grieve. He grieves over every person who rejects His Gospel call. God wishes to raise you up, to save you from a lost and fallen world. He wishes to make you like Christ, an Overcomer, a Victor. To show you victory over the things that are pulling you down. But you must come to Christ. You must bow your knee. You must surrender to Him. You must go when He says go, and stop when He says stop. His Word must govern you. His relationship with you must matter to you. His Bible must stop collecting dust.

You can’t get into the Promised Land sitting on your behind. You need to follow Him to victory.

  • The Hardened Heart Exposes You To The Wrath Of God. God said to those who continually rejected His leadership:

Hebrews 3:10-11 (KJV) Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

You cannot enjoy the rest of God unless you heed God.
You cannot be blessed of God unless you hear Him.
God blesses His Children by faith in Christ.
But God does not promise blessing to those who reject Christ.

John 3:16-21 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

So the choice is simple. Follow Christ, believe on Him, live in Him, and be blessed. He will take us all to the Promised Land. But reject Christ at your peril. He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only Begotten Son of God. A focused faith in Christ brings blessing. A focused faith in Christ brings the love of God. A focused faith in Christ brings sonship to all who believe.

Believe and receive Him today. Do not harden your hearts. Someone once said:

Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it. Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”

What will you choose. WHO will you choose?

May God touch your heart with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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